Updated: Jul 21, 2022
DISCLAIMER: This is an essay that I wrote during my sophmore year of high school. I wrote this as a semi passive aggressive response to a documentary we watched in my Sociology class. I felt troubled by how the documentary portrayed Africa and was disappointed to find that my teacher relied on the same rhetoric. In response, I attached this essay to end of one of my assignments. Please enjoy 15 year-old, angsty Dayo.
The Truth About Namibia, and How the Media Portrays African Culture: A Thought to Consider
The media is often, and unfortunately so, the prime source education on culture to many people in the world. In the United States in particular, media is a powerful force in the minds of the American people. Stemmed from the movement of European Imperialism, the African culture was seen as barbaric and uncivilized, and many Europeans dedicated themselves to erasing the beauty of African culture. This ideal only continued during the American tragedy of slavery, and still presents itself in modern times in the form of ignorance and bias. Although it has been overwhelmingly established that Black/African-American people are the backbone of American society, they are still disrespected and appropriated through media. In terms of the film Babies, their use of a biased form a cinephotography is one commonly seen in an abundance of American film, music, and television. In the documentary, minor details told volumes of stories of how they really view African people and tribal culture.
Compared to the Western cultures of Japan and the US, the babies of these nations were seen as angelic and calm. There birth was enlightening and innovative. But when they show the lands of Namibia the scenes emphasize chaos and vast uncleanliness. They play mysterious, unsettling music in the background. Arbitrary things such as flies, empty water bottles, and dusts are pinpointed rather than the beauty of the culture, like the American life was. But if you analyze the two cultures, and considered crime rates, injustice, poverty, and uncleanliness, it is very clear which culture is more barbaric. The truth about Namibia is that they have built cities, establish thriving livelihoods, and deserve more than the title or the outlook of a slum.